News Feature | February 4, 2014

Boehringer Ingelheim Partners With Duke To Study IPF Natural History

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By Estel Grace Masangkay

Boehringer Ingelheim has entered into collaboration with Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) to uncover the natural history of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and often fatal lung disease.

Boehringer Ingelheim Clinical Development and Medical Affairs Senior Vice President Tunde Otulana said, “We are excited by this research partnership with Duke Clinical Research Institute as it represents an important step to understanding a disease for which there has been a minimal amount of understanding. Our partnership with Duke Clinical Research Institute represents an important step for our company. We believe this approach will allow us to accomplish together certain research goals that we might not otherwise have achieved separately.”

IPF affects as many as 132,000 individuals in the US alone. The condition is characterized by inflammation and development of lung tissue scarring (fibrosis) as well as loss of proper lung function over time. Patients with IPF often experience shortness of breath and have difficulty taking part in daily life activities. Most patients with IPF die within three to five years of diagnosis.

Boehringer Ingelheim and DCRI will launch a prospective multi-center IPF center in the US. The partnership will also establish a biomarker bank to determine potential blood and genetic markers of IPF correlating with patient outcomes.

DCRI Pulmonary Research Director Scott Palmer said, “Duke Clinical Research Institute’s new relationship with Boehringer Ingelheim is a paradigm shift in how academic institutions and industry have traditionally worked together.”

“Boehringer Ingelheim came to Duke Clinical Research Institute to discuss common interests with regards to the unmet patient needs in the area of lung disease. As a result, a true collaboration has emerged in which we will be drawing on each other’s specific strengths and research expertise, allowing us to jointly work through ideas and develop new studies that advance patient care,” he said.

The collaboration will first focus on developing the IPF Outcomes Registry (IPF-PRO) to collect and analyze data from a large number of patients. The long-term IPF-PRO study is expected to begin soon.


Boehringer Ingelheim Partners with Duke to Study IPF Natural History